A socially-minded hackathon - using open data and APIs to improve understanding


The computer science club is excited to announce that we will be hosting two talks and a Google sponsored hackathon at Simon’s Rock. The event will kick off on Friday, April 21st at 5:30pm in the Clark Auditorium (Fisher 102). Note that this event is after the early college summit, so students who wish to attend both may do so. We will begin with talks by Google engineers Miriam Melnick (Simon’s Rock ‘08) and Marc Howard on the topics of hackathons and affecting social change using open data. The event will conclude late on Saturday, April 22. Pizza will be served at 6:30pm on Friday and will be followed by a ‘midnight snack’.  Students and faculty are welcome to attend the talks (and enjoy the pizza!) without participating in the hackathon portion of the event. However, you must attend the talks in order to participate in the hackathon. ACE credit for Health and Wellness is also available for talk participants.


A hackathon is a themed event during which a team (comprised of computer programmers and sometimes other designers and creatives) sprint to develop software. There are many ways to contribute to a team. Designing a software is a multidisciplinary endeavour. We recommend that you try joining a team even if you have minimal experience. Everyone is welcome.


The tentative schedule is below:


Friday, April 21st

05:30pm Talk by Miriam Melnick and Marc Howard

06:30pm Pizza!  Questions!  Google Swag!

07:15pm Hackathon Organization and Team Building

08:00pm Teamwork

12:00am Midnight Snack


Saturday, April 22nd

10:00am Fisher Reopens (come back if you have left)

08:00pm Presentations

09:00pm Conclusion of Hackathon


Please RSVP by filling out the following form if you intend on coming.


We hope to see you there!


View full rules


All Simon's Rock students are eligible. You are not required to have any Computer Science or hacking experience. Come join us!


Please submit:

  • A list of your team members and roles
  • A link to a presentation (Google Sheets or similar) where you briefly explain your project and show screenshots
  • All source code


Miriam Melnick

Miriam Melnick
Software Engineer at Google

Marc Howard

Marc Howard
Software Engineer at Google/Jigsaw

Aaron Williams

Aaron Williams
Computer Science Professor at Simon's Rock

Judging Criteria

  • Effective use of technology
    Whether it's Python, JavaScript, Apps Script, or something else, we are looking for teams that effectively use new technologies.
  • Interesting Concept
    Use that Simon's Rock creativity - share your perspective and help us look at data a new way.
  • Best Presentation
    Sometimes, it's all about the pitch. Make us believe that this project is/could be awesome!
  • Most Useful
    A tool that provides real-world utility.
  • People's Choice
    The project your fellow hackers are most excited about!